Susan Pompeo: Acting Secretary of State and Grammarian?

In a vast Cabinet department with extensive resources, tightly bound by protocol and with close oversight, Mike and Susan Pompeo have imported a model more familiar to smaller, less scrutinized congressional offices on Capitol Hill: a blurry line between the appointed secretary and unappointed spouse, and among official, political and personal agendas.

Politico

Trump Calls Himself the “Law and Order” President (Except When He’s Not)

Trump says, “I’m the law and order president”.
Right.
Pull my other finger.

The International Criminal Court on Thursday rebuked the Trump administration for slapping sanctions and travel restrictions on court staff investigating alleged war crimes committed by U.S., calling the action “an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law.”

The new statement from the Hague-based body came after President Donald Trump issued an executive order authorizing the actions targeting ICC staff and their family members—as well as anyone who has “directly engaged in any effort by the ICC” to investigate the U.S. or a U.S. ally—as the Trump administration continues to lash out over ongoing investigations into alleged war crimes committed by U.S. forces and others in Afghanistan and alleged war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.

Common Dreams

Europe is abandoning Trump on the world stage as it turns away from the US toward China

  • Recent polling suggests Europeans are turning away from the US under Trump’s leadership.
  • Public opinion toward America has declined in major European countries since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Seventy-six percent of Germans in a new poll said their view of America had deteriorated since the start of the crisis.
  • Roughly equal numbers of Germans in the poll favored maintaining close relationships with China and the US over the other.
  • One poll last week found that just 2% of French people trusted Trump to provide world leadership.
  • China is exerting growing political, diplomatic, and financial power across Europe.

Business Insider

#ChinaChinaChina – A military contractors’ report circulating on Capitol Hill claims to have evidence that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese lab. It’s filled with information that’s just plain wrong.

A shocking report suggesting that the coronavirus was “release[d from] the Wuhan Institute of Virology” in China is now circulating in U.S. military and intelligence circles and on Capitol Hill. But there’s a critical flaw in the report, a Daily Beast analysis reveals: Some of its most seemingly persuasive evidence is false—provably false.

The Daily Beast

Trump’s “Deal” With the Taliban, a.k.a. Trump’s Giveaway

If you read the peace agreement itself, you’ll note immediately that it gives the Taliban a series of concrete, measurable gifts. First, there’s an immediate allied withdrawal – down to 8,600 American troops (and proportionate numbers of allied troops) within 135 days. The remainder of American and allied forces will leave within 14 months.

At the same time, the United States will immediately and substantially reinforce the Taliban by seeking the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners by March 20. Even worse, the United States further agreed to a goal of “releasing all remaining prisoners over the course of the subsequent three months.” It will do this at the same time that it commits to the “goal” of removing sanctions from members of the Taliban that include travel bans, asset freezes, and an arms embargo.

Time